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The effects of coffee - it's official! - Cycleshack

January 4, 2021

Words by Steve Ranger

The effects of coffee – it’s official!

Coffee in Moab, Utah

For those of us to whom coffee is central to cycling. it’s good to have our prejudices reinforced so at Cycleshack we’ve done a bit of digging to see whether coffee is good for cycling. There has been plenty of research showing that it’s good for cognitive decline, although some of our shop staff did think that meant worn out cogs and a tired drivetrain. But we wanted to relate it specifically to cycling. So below are some of the articles we found. Any articles not agreeing with our hypothesis were disregarded as poor science, because we all know that it’s best not to look at things that don’t agree with your own weltanschauung. 

Ergogenic effects of low doses of caffeine on cycling performance

Nathan T Jenkins1Jennifer L TrilkArpit SinghalPatrick J O’ConnorKirk J Cureton
One sentence from the abstract: The authors conclude that caffeine preparations of 2 and 3 mg/kg enhanced performance, but future work should aim to explain the considerable interindividual variability of the drug’s ergogenic properties.
 

Placebo effects of caffeine on cycling performance

Christopher J Beedie1Elizabeth M StuartDamian A ColemanAbigail J Foad
Conclusions: Quantitative and qualitative data suggest that placebo effects are associated with the administration of caffeine and that these effects may directly or indirectly enhance performance in well-trained cyclists.

New study reiterates performance enhancing effect of coffee – Cycling Weekly

Another study shows the benefit of caffeine on performance, and this time women were included too!

The Benefits of Caffeine for Cyclists, Triathletes, and Runners – Trainright.com

‘It turns out that caffeine can do more than help you wake up in the morning or beat afternoon sluggishness; it can act as an effective ergogenic aid when used properly. In a systematic review of 21 studies, researchers discovered around a 3.2% improvement in endurance performance (time trial performance, not time to exhaustion) with caffeine ingestion.’

6 Truths about Coffee and Caffeine

HOW CAFFEINE CAN IMPROVE YOUR RIDE

The Jolt Is Legit
The performance boost you get from caffeine is a result of how it hot-wires your central nervous system, says Matthew Ganio, PhD, an exercise physiologist at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas.

“Caffeine crowds out a calming brain chemical called adenosine,” he says. You become more alert, you react faster, and you don’t feel like you’re working as hard, all of which add up to training or competing at a higher intensity for a longer period of time and being more agile in a pack.